• IPA(key): /swɪʃ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪʃ


swish (comparative swisher or more swish, superlative swishest or most swish)

  1. (Britain, colloquial) sophisticated; fashionable; smooth.
    This restaurant looks very swish — it even has linen tablecloths.
  2. Attractive, stylish
  3. Effeminate.



swish (plural swishes)

  1. A short rustling, hissing or whistling sound, often made by friction.
  2. A hissing, sweeping movement through the air, as of an animal's tail.
  3. A sound of liquid flowing inside a container.
    • 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet Chapter 4
      There were four or five men in the vault already, and I could hear more coming down the passage, and guessed from their heavy footsteps that they were carrying burdens. There was a sound, too, of dumping kegs down on the ground, with a swish of liquor inside them, and then the noise of casks being moved.
  4. A twig or bundle of twigs, used for administering beatings; a switch
  5. (basketball) A successful basketball shot that does not touch the rim or backboard.
  6. (slang) An effeminate male homosexual.
    • 1992, Leigh W. Rutledge, The gay decades: from Stonewall to the present
      "Fairies, nances, swishes, fags, lezzes — call 'em what you please — should of course be permitted to earn honest livings []
  7. (Canada, prison, slang) An improvised alcoholic drink made by fermenting whatever ingredients are available.

Related termsEdit



swish (third-person singular simple present swishes, present participle swishing, simple past and past participle swished)

  1. To make a rustling sound while moving.
    The cane swishes.
    • 1922, A. M. Chisholm, A Thousand a Plate
      In the stern of the low-laden canoe his paddle swished steadily and powerfully, with thrust of straight, stiff upper arm backed by a twisting swing of the body from the waist, and with every stroke the little craft leaped as if a giant hand had shoved her forward.
  2. (transitive) To flourish with a swishing sound.
    to swish a cane back and forth
    • Samuel Taylor Coleridge
      Sir Nicholas grinn'd and swish'd his tail
      With joy and admiration,
      For he thought of his daughter Victory,
      And her darling child Taxation.
  3. (transitive, slang, dated) To flog; to lash.
    • 1906, Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost:
      After Virginia came the twins, who were usually called "the Star and Stripes", as they were always getting swished.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Thackeray to this entry?)
  4. (basketball) To make a successful basketball shot that does not touch the rim or backboard.
  5. (gay slang) To mince or otherwise to behave in an effeminate manner.
    I shall not swish; I'll merely act limp-wristed.